Friday, April 06, 2007


Feeding the Poor is a Crime

And a man has been arrested for it.

Money quote.

Mr Montanez was filmed by undercover officers on Wednesday as he served "30 unidentified persons food from a large pot utilising a ladle," an arrest affidavit said.

Silly, stupid, and hateful.


Play All Day at School

This is an interesting article about an unusual and successful school.
[Sudbury Valley School] is founded on what comes down to a belief about human nature—that children have an innate curiosity to learn and a drive to become effective, independent human beings, no matter how many times they try and fail. And it's the job of adults to expose them to models and information, answer questions—then get out of the way without trampling motivation. There are no classrooms per se, although students can request instruction on any subject or talk to any staffer any time about an interest. There aren't even grades. From overnight hiking trips to economics classes to weekly school meetings at which all matters—including my visit—are discussed and voted on by students and staff, all activities are age-mixed.
Read the rest here.


Artistic Design in Video Games

I have been thinking about artistic design in video games lately. Mostly because I have gotten back into City of Heroes, which in my opinion, has made the most successful use of artistic design of any of the massively multiplayer games on the market*.

It is interesting that City of Heroes is getting to be a bit of a dated game, yet it looks better than so of the newer MMO's. The reason is artistic design. The developers have made choices that look good but are less computationally intensive. Specifically, they used comic style as opposed to photorealism. In the context of the game, superhero fantasy, this makes excellent sense.

*I haven't tried them all, but I have tried alot. Free trial offers FTW.


Solar Energy

This is an image of incoming solar energy. The black dots are the area we would have to cover to meet all of our energy needs.


McCain's Photo Op kills 21 People

John McCain is sinking in the polls, and he opened his mouth and said something really stupid (That it was safe to walk the streets in Bagdad). He realized that he was screwed and gambled on a photo op. So he walked the safe streets of Bagdad and visited one of the major markets (with 100+ soldiers, 3 blackhawks and 2 fucking apache gunships).

Then this happened.

It is times like this that I really really hate politicians.


The End of History

Shorter Francis Fukuyama: Bush fucked up so bad that I have to move my neo-con fantasies to Europe.

Okay, That is a bit over the top... I have suggested that the EU can serve as the seed of a new transnational order for the world. I don't expect it to do so. But the possibility is there.


Propoganda Coup: Definition of

We had had a very pleasant stay under the conditions we were in. Obviously we were not tourists. All the treatment has been fantastic towards us and there is no bad feeling at all towards Iran.
Leading Sailor Faye Turney upon her return to britain after two weeks in captivity in Iran.


Thursday, April 05, 2007


That Vision Thing

I have noticed something of that last couple years, I have trouble explaining vision. I get what GreenCamp is supposed to be (That is the mini-conference series I have started up), but no one else does. I have had the same problem with meta-inspire.

I guess I need practice. Or in gamer speak:


PS Day 2 of my spellcheck resolution.


Don't Bring a Knife to a Car Fight

Here is a video clip of Toronto police in action.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Graphing with Rollercoasters

Someone decided to graph US housing prices for 1890-present using Rollercoaster Tycoon. See data in an entirely new way here.


When your lying has become pathological

There is no way, no way at all, that fox news could do this with a straight face.

The declared Britney Spears the most foolish American according to a recent poll, but at the percentages on their on screen display here.


Why did Iran Take the British Sailors?

Here is an idea I have seen float around the blogosphere. This version is from Cathie.
Now the Brits are saying their sailors were captured in retaliation for the provacative US raid on the Iran consultate in Kurdistan in January -
The attempt by the US to seize the two high-ranking Iranian security officers openly meeting with Iraqi leaders is somewhat as if Iran had tried to kidnap the heads of the CIA and MI6 while they were on an official visit to a country neighbouring Iran, such as Pakistan or Afghanistan.
What the Bush Administration has do something stupid evil thing and it coming home to roost? Which is not to say that Iran didn't react by retaliating in evil immoral way.

Do you ever get the feeling that you are watching to street gangs posing before a fight?

As a footnote, Iran's goal in this action was to drive a wedge between British and the Americans. To some degree they have succeeded. Bush put his foot in his mouth and made the situation worse.

As well, It is worth noting that Iran scored a propaganda coup with this action by treating the prisoners according to the Geneva Conventions. It was satisfying to catch the torture is fun crowd wrapping themselves in Geneva love.

Just a little hypocracy. They would probably cite American exceptionalism.


Edit: Here is a better description of the mess the Bushites have made with this issue


102 year old gets 25 year morgage

A pensioner aged 102 has been granted a 25-year mortgage despite the fact he would have to live until 127 to pay the loan back.
I suspect the company loaning the money has insisted on life insurance.


Not New Years Resolution

I resolve to actually use spell check when I write.


Creating a New Narrative in Terrorism

Why would you want to avoid calling terrorism "Islamic" when it is Muslims committing the violence?

Because if you give it a different name, islamist or whatever, you give the western moderate Muslims a path of action, a narrative to invoke, that will separate them from the extremist members of the community.

Remember to win this conflict we must win the loyalty and support of the majority of the Muslim world. Alienating them will not achieve this. This is a basic fact is ignored by most of the anti-politically correctness crowd when they cry about surrender to Islam.

It was Bill Posner that got me on this rant.

The EU's ostrich-like approach is stupid and dangerous for the way it ignores the very real fact of Islamic terrorism, but it is also linguistically ignorant since the phrase "Islamic terrorism" carries no implication that all Muslims support terrorism or that Islam is particularly associated with terrorism. By the same token, "Christian opposition to gay marriage" does not imply that all Christians are opposed to gay marriage or that Christians are particularly associated with opposition to gay marriage. If one must be politically correct, one should start from a correct understanding of the language at issue.

Yet again another American thinks he can lecture Europeans on terrorism. Hey punk, ever heard of the IRA, ETA, Algiers, Red Brigades, Bader-Meinhof, Corsican Separatists, and Black September. What are these? Terrorist group that have been active in Europe. Europe knows how to deal with terrorists. They have been doing it for years while you have been in a peaceful la la land. Do not lecture them on the threat of terrorism when your nation is making every newbie mistake in the book.



"I know my position on anti-war protestors a few years back- they were to be mocked, derided, ignored, out-protested, or countered with 'facts' (the facts, in many cases, did not turn out to be on my side, but at least I was arguing from what I thought was an honest position). Nowhere did I even begin to imagine we would arrest people and have them interrogated by secret government units.

But the smelly dirty hippies were expecting it, and once again, this administration has proved them right,"

John Cole


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